Autodesk Well Positioned in 3D Printing Market

Advancements in 3D Printing In order to take your 3D part from concept to tangible piece, the part must first be modeled in 3D software. Autodesk, the company behind software like AutoCAD, Maya, 3ds Max, Inventor, and Fusion 360, has been rapidly incorporating 3D modeling capabilities into their existing software. Between Autodesk’s well-established software programs and new software in development, Autodesk is charging head first into the 3D printing market. Over the last year, Autodesk has released a variety of app-based software that is specifically designed for 3D printing. These apps include 123D Catch, a program that allows users to take a series of photos of a model that are transformed into a 3D design, 123D Design, a basic 3D modeling program, and 123D Make, a program that allows users to create 3D models in slices from individual layers. With these apps combined with Autodesk’s Spark, an additional software platform, Autodesk has been described as the “Android of 3D printing.” Autodesk Talks About the Future Recently, IDG Connect was able to sit down with Aubrey Cattell, the Senior Director of Business Development and Operations. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits about the interview. Cattell reiterates that, although the printing industry is 25 years old, it hasn’t yet blown up. In fact, there have only been 250,000 3D printers sold over the last 25 years. Despite this, Cattell believes that we are on the cusp of huge growth, citing studies that predict that the industry will grow to $16 billion in 2018. Cattell compares the current state of 3D printing to a “Homebrew Computer Club.” Essentially, at this...
Top 10 3D Printed Holiday Gifts

Top 10 3D Printed Holiday Gifts

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the Black Friday madness has passed, it is really time to start checking the remaining names off of your gift list. If you are looking for something truly unique that you will not find anywhere else, a 3D printed design is a great option. With sites like Thingiverse and My Mini Factory, you don’t need to know anything about 3D design. All you have to do is find the design, contact us with the information, and we will print it out on our Stratasys uPrint SE Plus or MakerBot Replicator. To help you find a little inspiration for your gift, we have combed the internet to find the top 10 3D 3D printed holiday gifts. 10. Something for the centerpiece   If you are looking for the perfect hostess gift, consider this unique 3D printed vase. Designed with a twisted style, this vase has tons of intricate line work and a nice, classic design with contemporary touches. For an extra special surprise, present it to your host or hostess with a bouquet of flowers already tucked inside. 9. Cloud Storage For all of your techy friends, give them a great way to organize any office with this cute little gag gift that they will actually use. The cloud-shaped storage container is printed in two pieces for a great place to keep your trinkets or small office supplies. 8. A blizzard of snowflakes If you are interested in learning more about 3D printing and want a simple place to start, take a look at these snowflakes. With multiple designs available, these downloads give you...

Using a 3D Printer as a Startup

3D Printers Drive Startups When most people think about bringing in a 3D printer, it is to help expand their existing business. But, with the low overhead of a printer compared to traditional manufacturing practices, some industrious users have turned a 3D printer into their business. Here are some cool examples of how people are putting 3D printing to work for them by a using a 3D printer as a startup. Protos While Protos Eyewear is certainly not the first company to try to design their own glasses with a 3D printer, it is one of the most interesting. With this innovative concept,you start by taking photos of yourself, using a credit card as a reference point. Then, the computer uses an algorithm to determine which glasses they believe will best suite your unique features. The design team will send you three suggestions for different glasses. Of course, if you don’t like any of the options they present to you, you are free to choose whichever glasses you prefer. After you have decided on your frames, your glasses will be 3D printed to your exact specifications. Normal Earphones If you have problems getting earbuds that fit, you may want to check out the offerings at Normal. To make their fully customized earbuds, Normal starts by asking customers to take a photograph of each ear. These photos are a guideline that Normal uses to 3D print custom earbuds out of high-quality ABS plastic. Each earbud is rigorously tested for superior quality. Jewlr When giving a piece of jewelry to somebody special, you want to make sure that it is meaningful....
Spurring Innovation: Autodesk Invests in the Future of 3D Printing

Spurring Innovation: Autodesk Invests in the Future of 3D Printing

Autodesk hopes to bolster the future of 3D printing The Announcement In May of this year, Autodesk announced that they were ready to jump into the 3D printing game. In a blog post by Carl Bass, Autodesk President and CEO, Bass explained how his frustration with the state of the 3D printing industry had led him to seek out a better option. The result of this search was twofold: the development of an entirely new open source software platform, Autodesk Spark, and a 3D printer, the Ember, that would be designed to work with the Spark platform. Through these innovations, Autodesk hopes to help shape the future of 3D printing in a more user-friendly direction. Development for Spark In an update from Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski at the Inside 3D Printing Conference this week, Kowalski spilled a few more details about the software. One of the things that really separates Spark from the competition is its “autocomplete” feature, which allows the software to anticipate the design and complete the shape for the user. The Spark software program will also be able to work with multiple materials and can be used on any available hardware platform. Like the software, Ember, the 3D printer, will be designed through a heavily collaborative process. So far, it is known that the printer will have a resolution of 10 microns and will primarily use photo-cured resin for its material, although it will also print other materials. It is estimated that the printer will go on sale for somewhere around $5,000. Raising the bar This week, Autodesk took their role in the 3D marketplace a...

Our 3D Printed Office – Network Cables

Our 3D Printed Office – Network Cables Chords and clutter At Spectra3D Systems, we have an office problem that we think many of you can relate to – cluttered network cables. For years, we have done what we could to organize them by bundling the chords and shoving them into corners, over doorways, and behind wall hangings. But eventually, we decided that it was time to conquer the clutter. So we turned to our 3D printer for help. . . We decided to design a contraption to neatly hold the chords tightly in place as they stretched across the ceiling. The system we devised utilized four different pieces. The first is a clip that is fitted to snap over the metal part of the ceiling between the tiles. The second piece includes individual slots for each of the cables to fit inside of. We printed three different sizes so that they would hold either two, four, or six cables at a time. The third piece then snaps over the top of the second piece to hold the cables in place. The fourth piece allows you to gently re-route the cables if you want them to switch directions. This works great for us because we have several cables originating from the same space before heading to different computers and printers throughout the room. We printed the pieces on our Stratasys uPrint SE Plus printer. Then we snapped the pieces into place Everything fit perfectly. The first piece snapped right into the ceiling and the slots for the wires had just enough space to allow us to pull the wires through...
Tips for buying a 3D Printer

Tips for buying a 3D Printer

3D Buying Tips Buying a 3D printer can save you plenty of time and money in the long run but, for most of us, it is still a fairly major financial decision. Make sure that purchasing a home printer, such as the MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation) is the right decision for you with these tips for buying a 3D printer:   Before purchasing your printer, take a moment to think about how it will benefit you. Although you will, no doubt, find things that you will do with your printer that you would never have anticipated, you should feel confident that you have enough print needs that the printer is worth the initial investment. As a beginner in the world of 3D printing, you are going to want to have plenty of support. Purchasing your printer from a knowledgeable team who will happily offer their assistance, such as The 3D Printer’s Guild, means that you will be left with fewer headaches as you learn to navigate your printer and design software. Familiarize yourself with the policies of the manufacturer. Check to see what sort of warranties and protection plans are offered. If you run into any issues with your machine, you want to be sure that you are protected. Check out some online resources. Forums, blogs, and reviews are fantastic ways to find out more about individual printers, design software, and materials. They are also full of great tips and tricks to help you customize your printer settings to get the exact effect that you are looking for. Before you purchase your machine, do a little research on 3D...